Panel interview is a process of interviewing candidates by a group of people. The group of people may be from different backgrounds and often ask provoking panel interview questions to see how he/she handles pressure.
Panel interview is challenging and different from a one-on-one interview. Here, at least three or more people are present to interrogate a candidate's worth for the respective position. The interviewers are quite intimidating in nature, and they create a lot of pressure on the candidate. This is not about judging the individual's knowledge only, but to judge his/her personal attributes as well. This type of interview is mainly conducted to spend some time with the candidate to test his/her body language, temperament, attitude, problem solving skills, decision making skills, and stress handling skills to name a few.
Preparing for this interview will be same as preparing for a normal interview. But in a panel interview, the way the entire session is handled differs. You have to be alert and maintain a steady communication with each member of the panel with eye contact. Always remember the names of each interviewer in the panel and address them with Mr._/Ms_ during the interaction. Each of the panel member will assess you and rate your answer in several aspects respectively. At all level of the interview, you have to ensure that your abilities, skills and knowledge are highlighted, vis-a-vis the expectation of each interviewer.
Refer to the sample interview questions below to boost your confidence level.
Tell us something about yourself.
This is the first question that is commonly asked. You have to create the first good impression on each interviewer. Highlight your background, qualification, knowledge, personal likes and dislikes, etc., to introduce yourself. Give all information in a crisp, yet informative manner. Maintain eye contact with all the members while answering this question.
Are you comfortable in giving a panel interview or you prefer one-on-ones more?
You have to be alert while answering this question. The interviewer is asking you this question to assess your attitude and adjusting power to any situation. Highlight both the positive sides of a panel interview and one-on-ones. Try to maintain a balance in the answer.
Why did you choose our company as your future employer?
Research well about the company before coming to the interview. Gather information from their websites, the Internet, employee friend, or from other sources. If you are able to answer this question to the point and correctly, it will showcase your interest level and your seriousness in wanting to join this company.
Why do you want to leave the current job?
The interviewers probably will ask this question to check if you have been asked to leave the previous company. The answer may also reveal if you were not able to adjust yourself in the company. Thus, answer this question very carefully. Never reflect any negative side of the employer or employees of your past employer. Rather, you should give a generalized statement, stating that you are leaving the company for better career opportunity or growth.
What are your short term goals?
Goals are very important in life, and they should be revealed in the panel interview. It gives a shape to the way you deal your life. Thus, mention about the current goals that you aspire to achieve within a span of 3 to 5 years like 'want to get a good job in this company', 'want to be a senior employee by utilizing my knowledge and skills', want to start my own business venture'...., etc.
How can we benefit if we hire you?
Highlight your qualities and skills that will help the organization to grow. Also, try to review the job description and relate their expectations with your skills.
What are your biggest strengths?
Prepare yourself with this answer, as it is again another frequently asked question. Mention about your positive skills that you possess and the encouraging behavioral traits you have. For e.g., dedicated, hardworking, ability to handle stress/pressure, prompt decision maker, etc.
Do you have any weaknesses?
Never avoid this question and say that your weaknesses are nil. It is not possible, as all human beings have some weakness/es. Feel free to share it, but ensure that you are working to overcome those. Share the ways in which you are trying to defend your weaknesses.
Your resume tells us that you have a hobby of creating music. Why didn't you think of making it your profession?
This is a casual interactive question asked to know what you do apart from your job. Emphasize on your specific hobby and justify why you want to keep your hobby away from work.
Consider that I am not satisfied with your educational qualifications, how will you convince me to hire you?
Through this question the interviewer wants to test your convincing and communication skills. Be confident and project your abilities, experience and personal skills that will help you to perform the job responsibilities effectively and efficiently.
Do you think you are productive when you work independently? Do you consider yourself a team player?
The answer to this question will convey whether you are able to work in a team or not. Establish facts and incidents from professional experience/personal life, where you have been able to showcase your traits of being a successful team player.
What is the biggest mistake you have ever made in your professional journey?
Feel free to share the incident. Be honest and explain what you have learned from the mistake.
To be successful in this type of job interview, you must be familiar with the general panel interview questions listed above that can be asked by any prospective employer. Always remember to remain calm, confident and engaging to impose a positive impact on all the interviewers.